Against the Ruins

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On a December day in 1957, schoolteacher Louise Copeland and her six-year-old daughter, Lyra, come home to discover that Louise’s gentle war-hero husband has suddenly become psychotic and has slashed his wrist with a razor blade.

From that moment on, everything Louise has believed in unravels. In their inner-city Southern neighborhood, situated between a cemetery and a madhouse, a place of leafy oak trees and ghosts, three other people become involved in Louise’s crisis: Rosa, the scandalous divorcee who entertains men for a living; Uta, the mysterious elderly lady who casts spells; and Max, the clairvoyant gravedigger.

In 2004, as Louise is dying, her daughter returns home, and she and her mother confront how the family was torn asunder in 1957. Louise finally reveals the long-held secret that haunted the family for the next fifty years.

This poignant novel is a gripping drama of madness and prejudice in which a mother leaves her daughter, ultimately, with hope.

Praise for Linda Lightsey Rice

“Against the Ruins contains such gorgeous writing that it nearly takes your breath away, with a sense of humor and a fine appreciation of the ridiculous even amid great agony.”

—Natalie Goldberg

“Rice has a fiery, incandescent talent.”

—Pat Conroy

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